I am usually critical of my union for allowing Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his cronies at Tweed to poison and disrespect the teaching profession, especially, the classroom teacher. However, there are times when the union does step up and do the right thing. One of these events was when UFT President Michael Mulgrew responded to failed newscaster turned pusedo-reform advocate Campbell Brown's complaint that the union protects sexual predators in the schools. The exchange between the two can be found here.
Ms. Brown asked Mr. Mulgrew if he would take a pledge and renegotiate the teachers' contract to allow the Chancellor to fire teachers accused of sexual misconduct, citing 128 DOE employees that she claimed did commit sexual misconduct and only 33 were fired. Mr Mulgrew responded in one of his best moments of his tenure by telling Ms. Brown that he does not pledge to her and that her definition of sexual misconduct cannot be based on a mere accusation.
Mr. Mulgrew then went on to lecture Ms. Brown about how her allegations are misleading and how the system actually works. Mr. Mulgrew explained to Ms. Brown that the union agrees with the DOE that a simple allegation is sufficient for a teacher to be removed from having contact with children if a Principal so wishes it and if an Arbitrator finds that the teacher committed any sexual misconduct they must be fired. There is no discretion by the Arbitrator on this. He also told Ms. Brown that the reason the 95 DOE employees were not fired is because the charges of sexual misconduct were not proven to be true.
Finally, Mr. Mulgrew ended his response to Ms. Brown by telling her to get her picture taken by the Daily News and stopped any further discussion on the matter as he proved his point that the union does not protect sexual predators. For people unfamiliar with the teacher contract here is what it says on page 120 of the latest edition of the teacher contract.
In 3020-a proceedings, a mandatory penalty of discharge shall apply to any tenured pedagogue a) found by a hearing officer to have engaged in sexual misconduct or b) who have pleaded guilty to or been found guilty of criminal charges for such conduct.
I must say that the exchange between Michael Mulgrew and Campbell Brown was a one-sided boxing match and the winner by knockout was Michael Mulgrew. Good job Mike!